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What's the most I can claim in church cash donations without having a receipt?

If each contribution you made was less than $250, you can prove the contributions with bank records alone. This applies even if your contributions totaled more than $250.

If you made a lump-sum contribution of $250 or more, you can claim a deduction only if you have a written acknowledgment.

The acknowledgement must meet these tests:

  • It must be written and from the qualified organization.
  • It must include:
    • The amount of cash contributed
    • Information on if the organization gave any goods or services as a result of the contribution -- other than token items or memberships
    • A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods and services
  • You must receive the acknowledgment by the earlier of the:
    • Date you file the return for the year when you made the contribution
    • Due date, including extensions, for filing the return

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